Mary Beth Writes

My church has been working for months to organize their fund-raising auction that was supposed to be TONIGHT. But instead we are in the middle of the massive spring storm that is scrubbing the nation from Oklahoma to I don’t know where next. The wind is howling; rain is sleeting into snow over a glaze of ice.

So the auction is postponed until next Saturday evening. I have put in so many hours (as have many other) working towards this event in the past weeks - that being quietly at home not working on it makes me feel as if I won a lottery. 

So what do I know about mine or other peoples’ frugal choices lately?

1.  On the frugal websites I read, people are forever picking up change off the ground. Well, I walk outside ALL THE TIME and I have found exactly one dime in one year.  My neighbors apparently don’t drop cash.

Here’s what I have found in the past few months. Two pairs of men’s work gloves. I don’t pick up lone gloves, but if I see a pair on the ground, I will bring them home (gingerly), wash them, and prepare to sell them whereupon Len will say, “Oh, those are nice, Can I have them?”

And

The Mechanix are about $25 on-line and the canvas ones are $9. Although the ones I found, in factory driveways, driven over many times, are not exactly pristine.

I soak them in water and dishwasher soap overnight. Next day I wash with regular detergent and hang to dry.

3. http://frannyanddanny.blogspot.com/  I enjoy this website. Today she featured a super-frugal egg, cheese, and tomato sandwich. At 7AM I showed the photo of the sandwich to Len. Guess what he made for himself for breakfast?

4. What do you actually know about recyclable coffee cups? http://money.cnn.com/2016/07/21/news/starbucks-recyclable-cups/index.html

“A coffee cup is an environmental nightmare. Most are made from cardboard with a thin layer of plastic tightly attached to the cup. This keeps the drink warm and prevents the cardboard from becoming soggy. But it also makes the cup non-recyclable. It takes about 20 years for such a cup to decompose.”

Len bought a ceramic Starbucks mug years ago; he brings it when we are going far enough away that we might buy coffee on the road. If one brings in your own cup, most coffee shops will fill it and give you some cents off the total.

5. I WON at less clutter! We culled kid books; we still have a bunch but we cut the stash in half. I took the culled (nice, not stupid) books to the teacher of the3rd grade class in which I volunteer.

A few days later the teacher showed some of the books to the children and said they were from me.

Some kids hugged me!  In 40 years of donating stuff to Goodwill - I’ve never been hugged by anybody. This sounds super-cute and is; but there is also deep satisfaction in giving good books to good children and receiving back their affection.

If you have NICE & INTERESTING kid books just lying about, call your local grammar school to see if they are interested. Don’t dump junk at them; teachers are far too busy to deal with that.

If you want the hugs part, you might have to volunteer for a couple months first. If this doesn’t sound really fun to you, don’t do it. If it does sound fun, don’t miss it.

Comments

I KNOW you are an awesome volunteerer. I still remember Flat Stanley spending a week with you.

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Mindful Chickens - Clucking at the Stock Market

I started this a month ago. Time flies…

Other people call them “frugal things I did lately”. I call them Mindful Chickens because they are about:

1. Being Cheap (cheap, cheep).

2. Being thoughtful about how choices affect our community and our earth.

3. Paying attention to values and values.

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Len and I are buying groceries differently than we used to and we are saving $100-250 per month doing so. If you know us, you will have noted that neither of us are any slimmer.  This is not about eating less.

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Other people call them “frugal things I did lately”. I call them Mindful Chickens because they are about:

1. Being Cheap (cheap, cheep).

2. Being thoughtful about how choices affect our community and our earth.

3. Paying attention to the constant tumble of dollars and choices.

...

Mindful Chickens in Canada

In case you don't already know... My husband and I did a 15-day road trip to eastern Canada.  Kurt Vonnegut wrote “Unexpected travel is like dancing lessons from God.”  The plan was to visit Nova Scotia and Newfoundland – but then Hurricane Dorian changed that. Stories and photos at my website. https://www.marybethdanielson.com/

Other people call them “frugal things I did lately”. I call them Mindful Chickens because they are about:

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Just in case you thought I stopped paying attention to how to live cheap and well. 

1. For several months we have composted veg and fruit scraps - our weekly garbage reduced by half! We collect detritus through the day in a bowl on the counter, carry it out to a steel garbage can we brought from our last house. I’ve dug some of this collapsed organic stuff into the garden.

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